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A review of the public health challenges of Salmonella and turtles

Sodagari, H.R., Habib, I., Shahabi, M.P., Dybing, N.A., Wang, P. and Bruce, M.ORCID: 0000-0003-3176-2094 (2020) A review of the public health challenges of Salmonella and turtles. Veterinary Sciences, 7 (2). Article 56.

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Non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars are recognized as zoonotic pathogens. Although human salmonellosis is frequently associated with ingestion of contaminated foods of animal origin, contact with animals may also be a significant source of Salmonella infection, especially contact with turtles, which have shown to be an important reservoir of Salmonella, specifically through their intestinal tracts. Turtles are among the most common reptiles kept as house pets that may pose a public health risk associated with Salmonella exposure, especially among infants and young children. This review discusses the literature reporting the link between turtles and Salmonella as well as turtle-associated human salmonellosis in the last ten years. In most outbreaks, a high proportion of patients are children under five years of age, which indicates that children are at the greatest risk of turtle-associated salmonellosis. Therefore, turtles should not be preferred as recommended pets for children under five years of age. Reducing turtle stress to minimise Salmonella shedding as well as providing client education handouts at the points of sale of these animals may reduce the risk of transmitting such significant pathogen to humans. Further studies are required to investigate the role of both direct contact with turtles as well as indirect contact through cross-contamination in the transmission of turtles-associated Salmonella to humans.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
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